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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

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means to treat those summoned with a spirit of libe-
rality. In a word, to do for this new institution in an
appropriate manner ..and on a larger scale, what Muneh-
hausen had once done for Gottingen, and the Govern-
ment of "Weimar for Jena., and then success was certain,
As soon as Huinboldt had reconciled himself to the
idea of erecting the new university in Berlin,—and
this seems to have been before his accession to office,—
he was heart and soul in the cause, aiid on the 25th
March, 1809, already his associate,, Silvern, wrote from
Konigsberg to Professor Sehutz, in Halle: " Herr
von Humboldt is very much occupied with plans for
the new Berlin university ; it is now his favourite
theme, and although nothing has l^herto been de-
cided, there is a great probability, if the state only re-
mains at peace, that the new institution will be founded.
Persuaded by Humboldt's representations, the "king,
by an order in council of the 16th August, 1809, gave
his definite consent to the proposed undertaking. The
new academy was to have the privilege of granting
academic dignities ; the academies of art and science,
as well as^ all the scientific institutions and collections
of the capital, were, under the immediate direction, of
the department of public instruction, to be combined
with this new high school. An annual sum of 150,000
thalers (about 22,500L) was granted for these insti-
tutions, and of this sum 60,000 thalers (9000L) were
to be devoted to the university. The king presented
to them for a university house the splendid palace of
Prince Henry, situated in a central position in the
town. This Hberality in granting the necessaryjfand&
was beyond all anticipation. It was the highest
example of a real acknowledgment of the importance
of science and knowledge which a state lias ever yet
given, for it was given during a most disastrous tame^
and during great financial distress, and was intended
as a means for salvation and renovation.
The king had • expressed his wish that the' raaveamty
might be opened in the autumn, of 1810, &ad the
exertions to complete all the arrangements were now*
therefore^ redoubled.